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Any other women have no male friends? do you know why this is?

(67 Posts)
LizLemon007 Sat 06-Oct-12 17:59:30

there some women who have lots of male friends... why is that? I'm clearly not one of them. I have brothers, I went to a mixed school, I'm neither nervous around men, nor am I flirtatious or girly. I've no interest in sport though. I'm not beautiful but I'm not unattractive either. It's always been like this. I have lots of female friends. That's easy.

I'm a single parent, and I am seeing somebody at the moment, but although he's a lovely man and I'm a lovely woman smile I don't think our friendship is as strong as the friendships I have with my female friends. We are attracted to each other and respect each other and like each other.

I've always got on well with my friends' husbands, my x's friends, friends borhters etc.. so I am friendly with men but that's it. I guess at work I was friendly with some male colleagues but again, it was never a proper friendship. Why?

Some people say their partner was their friend first. That's what I'd really like, the kidn of easy companionship in a relationship that you get when your bf is your friend.

Tell me what sort of woman has lots of male friends. Are you one? did you marry a male friend? In which case, does that mean that all mixed sex friendships hinge on one party being attracted to the other anyway?

I do notice that beautiful /particularly attractive women would have a lot of male friends.

Brodicea Mon 08-Oct-12 09:56:06

I have male and female friends too: probably slightly more male friends. I think it's down to the fact that I am really into music and play guitar.
I don't think my male friends only want to be friends with women because they secretly want to sleep with them: we all hang out with our partners, they have other female friends. However, I think that there can sometimes be a bit of flirtation when drunk, but TBH not as cheeky as I would be with most of my female friends!
In short: maybe you would make more male friends if you happened to have a 'typically' male interest. And there will sometimes be a smidgen of tension, but it will pass.

ItsAFuckingVase Sun 07-Oct-12 23:02:38

I have male and female friends, and value them for different reasons.

My sense of humour is far more in tune with my male friends, and we have lots of shared interests, which for me tend to be more masculine. My female friends are great for having a giggle, a natter etc.

There is no cloak and dagger situation with my male friends, we're all just mates.

FateLovesTheFearless Sun 07-Oct-12 17:56:55

I have male and female friends. A few more male than female but I am on a college course where I am the only female so it's friends with males or nothing! grin

I do tend to get on better with males, probably because I was brought up by my dad and had three brothers, plus went to a tiny school where the majority were males.

Mumsyblouse Sun 07-Oct-12 17:51:10

Charbon, I wasn't trying to say no men have deep friendships, of course they do, and I still have good male friends from my school days, 30 odd years later. My husband also has good male friends from the past who he still sees, though they tend to be more colleagues and perhaps more superficial now. However, research shows men have less intimate friendships than women, and fewer of them, so women having fewer male friends is not that unusual.

Doing the things you have to do to pursue a friendship, such as go round to someone's house, phone them a lot, is difficult to do in the context of male/female conventions, you could easily look like you were coming on to someone, especially out of a work context, so I don't tend to make any new male friends these days, even though I have male colleagues who I get on very well with, and 20 years ago in student days, we may have been friends. My male friends are longstanding, we worked out years ago what the attraction was or wasn't, but they have turned into 'nice to see every year or two' and they wouldn't be the first I would call in an emotional crisis, even though they would always help.

Most of my friends don't have new male friends they've made since about the age of early-thirties, once you start pairing up and not hanging in a gang, one on one new friendships are harder to develop and maintain, I think.

SummerRain Sun 07-Oct-12 17:41:18

Comparison... Phone fail

SummerRain Sun 07-Oct-12 17:40:22

I tend to get on far better with men than women. According to the men in question when asked a few years back it's because ' you're not a girl summer, you're just one of the lads' hmm

I find women more difficult, there's always an undertone, always a slight competitive edginess, they're never as relaxed ime. Most men in compassion tend to say what they think and move on, with women it's more subtle and I'm not very good at subtle.

Dp is my best friend, I've never had a female best friend. Even with lots of women I know I tend to find conversation easier with their husbands.

In my teens and twenties I developed a close circle of friends most of whom were male. As the years have gone by I have had many friends come and go of both sexes, but these friendships have lasted and I am friendly with their wives now as well. When we all meet up we all talk for hours and about all sorts of things. However in between it's the wives that I chat with by email and maybe ring up, I rarely email the men apart from when we're all arranging a meet-up. Sometimes we all exchange a bit of collective banter by email. I also meet the wives alone occasionally, but never the men. Although there has never been any hint of sex/romance between me and any of the men, there is still an invisible line in that we don't talk or meet privately. When we got married and had the DCs I only had one person I could ask to be a bridesmaid and the same person to ask to be a God mother, because pretty well all my friends were male (no sisters on either side either).

Nowadays I have plenty of male colleagues and acquaintances, also DH's friends but I wouldn't really describe any men that I have met in the last 15 years or so (ie since meeting DH) as friends. Again, there's that invisible line. Whereas I now have a really close set of female friends from work, ante-natal class, school gate etc.

Strawhatpirate Sun 07-Oct-12 17:22:34

I don't any male friends at all. Not even one. I think its because I was brought up by dm and dgm with no contact at all with twunt of a father. I find it impossible to talk to or relate to even some of the things dh comes out with seem really alien iyswim. I'm plainish amd quite geeky/hippyish looking and seem to fill a kind of 'eccentric friend role' in my friendship group. I went to an all girls school so had no contact with boys there. It was a local tradition that when the boys school had a half day they would travel en mass to our school gates to jeer at us and call us all dogs and slags. I always remember being literaly terrified by this! It was a bit like dawn of the dead accept with mini sexists instead of zombies!

LizLemon007 Sun 07-Oct-12 17:21:36

I feel a bit threatened by some women some times, but that doesn't mean that men will fill that void and be your friend!

I have low confidence though, and I sometimes over analyse what women might be thinking,might be feeling, so I know that more confident women than I am don't end up analysing an interaction in the same way. There are about 5% of women who threaten me, and the rest all seem very warm and approachable. But it's funny, quite quickly after meeting a woman she seems to fall into one or other camp. ON my side, or confused a condescending wagon determined to keep you at a distance! they're rare thankfully.

sades101 Sun 07-Oct-12 17:17:02

also girls don't seem to take my piss taking as well as men do... not ALL girls, the ones that do take it well are my friends smile and the ones that give it back are my even better friends!! I recently suffered with severe anxiety though so it feels as though my only friends are my partner and my newborn lol, but I'm happy with that :P

Strawhatpirate Sun 07-Oct-12 17:16:40

I don't any male friends at all. Not even one. I think its because I was brought up by dm and dgm with no contact at all with twunt of a father. I find it impossible to talk to or relate to even some of the things dh comes out with seem really alien iyswim. I'm plainish amd quite geeky/hippyish looking and seem to fill a kind of 'eccentric friend role' in my friendship group. I went to an all girls school so had no contact with boys there. It was a local

Charbon Sun 07-Oct-12 17:16:26

Sounds like you might want lots of separate things Liz - which is great! A couple relationship with a man involving sex and friendship - and closer friendships with more like-minded men and women. BTW, I also get frustrated when I meet up with a couple of friends in particular who can't seem to spend even a few hours without being in contact with their kids or their partners, so I share your pain! grin

Charbon Sun 07-Oct-12 17:09:47

Znaika although I don't think it's as powerful and universal as the male socialisation I've just referenced, I think some women are socialised to regard women as competition, so they see unattached women as a threat. Again, those women are missing out on a great source of friendship and I'm really sorry you've experienced that sort of behaviour, especially after suffering a bereavement. Can I suggest a feminist group, where you're unlikely to meet women who behave like that?

sades101 Sun 07-Oct-12 17:08:34

I'm not into sports at all, I'm not 'beautiful' but I'm not unattractive either, I have mainly male friends with one best friend that's a girl. I don't know if it depends on the girl but, I have always had male friends. Probably because I feel slightly threatened by females sometimes. It feels like girls try to compete with me and I find it tiresome, so just opt out of it all lol. Me and my partner are friends and have a laugh I take the piss out of him a lot and generally have that playful piss taking attitude with all my male friends so dont know if that has anything to do with it? xx

LizLemon007 Sun 07-Oct-12 17:01:59

charbon very good question. I guess other people's conservatism (IS THAT a word?) is rubbingn off on me. Society's two by two ness is making me feel at a loose end and I decided earlier this year that I need 1) more single parent friends and 2) to maybe meet somebody (a man).

I know your female friends can be affectionate to you but it's kind of different, not continual for no reason in particular. Also, when all your female friends are at home with their husbands, I have felt that the only way to fill that lonely void is in that predictable way, meeting somebody of the opposite sex, but also, I do want a bit more affection, sex, hmmm.... actually I am very open to meeting more single parents because I would like to have a circle of friends who don't rush back to their partners and not send so much as a text message for 60 hours at the weekend!! So to be honest I'm quite 'easy' men or women can keep me company. But I'm conventional and if I am in some sort of a relationship with a man it has more boundaries, expectations...

Charbon Sun 07-Oct-12 17:01:20

Those friendships aren't rare in my experience Mumsyblouse and while I agree that men are socialised not to share feelings and build emotional bonds with friends, I don't think it's a biological difference, or 'natural' for it to be that way. I think it's very sad and isolating for men to suffer that socialisation, but fortunately plenty reject it and have more than superficial friendships with men and women as a result.

In my experience though, men like that are more evolved in all sorts of other areas too. They don't see women only as potential sexual partners and they don't lie to their own partners about their friendships with other women. I've got several male friends; some are school/university friends of over 30 years standing, some are former and existing work colleagues, some are fellow hobbyists and some are fellow parents. None are secret friendships and for those who've got female partners, I've usually liked those women very much or made friends with them myself. Similarly, my male friends like my partner and some have become friends with him too. I think it would be a very impoverished existence if friendships had to be restricted to only 50% of the population.

znaika Sun 07-Oct-12 16:51:12

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Mumsyblouse Sun 07-Oct-12 14:36:24

Perhaps some of you are thinking about this the wrong way around: many men don't seem to have close friendships of the emotional depth/strength of some female-female friendships. In other words, in research, men have less friends in general, and the depth of the friendship is different (may be based on hobbies/topics rather than life/emotions).

This is a massive-generalization, and I do have male friends who I have been emotionally close to, but I've found that a) they don't need an infinite amount of these and so when they have settled down, they have tended to drop this emotional side and b) they tend to open up to friendships when their relationships are in difficulties. The exception to this is male-female friendships based on hobbies or shared interests, my husband has several of these, he also has a few female friends who lean on him occasionally, but in matters of emotional stress, he would rather cut off his right arm than phone a male or female friend and chat about it. If we have problems, he tends to tell no-one. I don't think he's unusual and it fits with the research.

So, wondering about why you haven't got lots of good but platonic male friends is probably the wrong way to view it. Unless you meet a lot of men, or have a hobby in common, men's natural tendency to have fewer deep friendships, plus the social taboos around this make it relatively rare.

I also think that many of the people describing their male friendships on here explain exactly why they can be problematic: they sound like relationships (there's a sexual or companionship element) or they are with married guys who keep it a secret (there's some secretive, risky element which makes the friendship fun). Not many people have written about their really close but totally straightforward not sexual ever open with their partner friendships, that's because they are quite rare.

LesleyPumpshaft Sun 07-Oct-12 14:22:58

It's funny, because I used to be a right tomboy and have mostly male friends in my late teens to late 20's. As I approached my 30's I noticed that I had less and less patience for most men. I now find a majority of men to be very annoying and prefer female company. I think a few bad experiences with men and discovering feminism was a big factor! I also suspect DS's dad hasn't helped my feelings towards the male gender.

I met DP at work, so we were never friends. Tbh as far as I'm concerned my partner doesn't have to be my friend. It's a totally different relationship. I don't have sexy intercourse with my friends. grin

Charbon Sun 07-Oct-12 11:56:00

How about turning this on its head and asking why you're defining the sex of the new friends you'd like Liz? In other words, what extra qualities do you think a man would bring to the party, that a woman could not?

People are just people after all.

I too find it sad that some women find female friendship difficult, but I think for those who do, it's worth some introspection. If you regard women as competition for men's attention, harder to manipulate, or as a whole sex characterised by a set of faults, then it's not surprising that some other women will sense that and back away.

Similarly if you regard men in general as being providers of sexual ego boosts, easier to manipulate, or unable to relate to women without a sexual agenda, then you're potentially missing out on some very good male friends, while only befriending those who reduce you to your sexuality, are somewhat stupid, who like keeping secrets from their female partners and enjoy your collusion with that.

SeveredEdMcDunnough Sun 07-Oct-12 10:19:14

See I really don't understand my close male friend in the light of this.

He doesn't seem to have any sort of agenda - he is afraid to be intimate with me as it implies something more than what we have, I suppose. But he is very sweet with me and keen to spend time together. He just doesn't want anyone to think I'm his girlfriend - maybe he is a bit ashamed of me? I don't know.
I often feel like I'm his 'other half' as we are so comfortable together, sitting around, he lets me sit watching him work at the computer and doesn't mind this - consults me on purchases - we do DIY projects together etc.
And there is a physical closeness too, but now it doesn't go beyond a touch here and there or a kiss on the cheek.

It is almost like he is my brother or something.
I miss him when I don't see him, he seems to miss me too.

But he isn't just hoping for sex iyswim - we have tried that, and though it was nice, it made it complicated. I don't think he's gay either.

LizLemon007 Sun 07-Oct-12 09:58:45

Same here TheKettle, and what prompted this thread is that somebody recently told me that my next 'venture out there' (dating /relationships) should be with a man who was a friend first. His actual advice was 'marry your best friend' but maybe that is advice that only works given to a man. It doesn't sound like bad advice but................. confused It made me question a few things.

I know there are men out there who are good company and I am questioning why it is that other women have male friends. I don't want to make it seem like having a man for a friend is an achievement per se! as perhaps the reason I have no male friends is that I have high expectations from friends? like you the women in my life have been a great support and are great company too!

TheKettle Sun 07-Oct-12 09:51:48

Gosh this topic has really made me think about my attitudes to men. And I'm not comfortable with what I've discovered shock.

I haven't got any male friends now. When I was young I did have male friends but it turned out that they fancied me and weren't actually friends. They were just trying their luck but in what I saw as a predatory way - trying to trick me into thinking they really cared about me as a friend when they just wanted to shag me... I should add that was 30 years ago, and I do think that things have changed now and it's easier for two people of the opposite sex to be genuine platonic friends.

I am very much a girls' girl and love the company of women. I'm saddened by the comments from posters who don't like other women. The women in my life - both friends and my mum, grandma, aunts, cousins, have always provided tremendous support and brought great happiness over the years.

Now for the bad things that I've realised since reading the thread....

I think I'm guilty of objectifying men to a large degree, as I see males as sexual partners rather than friends material. I've never stayed in touch with any exes after the relationship ended. I never saw the point if we were no longer shagging. It wouldn't occur to me to seek male friends. I have to say that I don't like this mindset. If a man told me the same thing about women I would think he was vile. Perhaps I think this way because of those bad experiences with predatory males when I was young. Also it may be a generational thing? (Not meaning to offend anyone of my age group who has positive platonic relationships with males.)

Anyway thanks for starting this topic. It's given me a lot to think about and maybe I should now be more open to a friendship with a man although I'm not sure where to find one!

LizLemon007 Sun 07-Oct-12 09:31:51

~Smellsliketeenstrop, I hear you... i put up with all of that crap and more before i left. and I only left because of the extent of it. I know if it hadn't been as bad i'd still be there so I'm GLAD now that it was as bad as it was.

there are a lot of selfish fhaters/husbands out there. and it's very very rare that I envy any of my married friends their relationship. I think I have one friend who I think 'she has a really good marriage with a decent man and they are friends too''.

Dryjuice25 Sun 07-Oct-12 01:51:35

I find that women around my circles ime don't like me around their husbands or maybe its just me. Or the male friends were hoping for sex!!!!!

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